In 2015, the United Nations (UN) has set 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) that were anchored on the idea of “no one gets left behind.” It’s a list of objectives that the UN wants countries around the world to achieve by the year 2030, in relation to their campaign #Envision2030.
The 17 goals range from reducing inequality to protecting life on land and water, to quality education. And while these are all equally important, one goal hits close to home for the Philippines: SDG #2, or zero hunger.
According to the 2019 data from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), 64.1% of all Filipino households are food insecure. This means that more than half of Filipino families are going hungry involuntarily due to various reasons such as poverty or inaccessibility of food. (Read: 3 Ways You Can Help Ensure Food Security in the Coming Years)
Moreover, the Philippines has had a score of 20.1 on the Global Hunger Index (GHI), signifying that the country is experiencing ‘serious’ hunger.
National Food Policy
To address these issues regarding food security in the country, the Philippine government will be introducing a National Food Policy (NFP) on October 16, World Food Day. The policy “seeks to address food production, food accessibility and availability, nutrition, and food resiliency” especially now that we are facing a health crisis that is affecting majority of the population.
“It is even more important because we face a pandemic. Experts point out that after the world deals with COVID-19, hunger will be the next problem, as well as poverty,” said Zero Hunger Task Force Chairperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles. (Read: How a Slight Change in Your Diet Can Help Fight Climate Change)
Nograles, who is also a co-chair of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), says the Philippines still aims to achieve SDG #2 by the year 2030. “With hunger experienced by many and possibly becoming worse… all the more we have to do it [zero hunger] by 2030,” he says.
The Zero Hunger Task Force was established in January 2020 after President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order 101. The Task Force was designed to formulate the NFP, and address, monitor, and evaluate the issue of hunger in the country.